Frist Center for the Visual Arts (Nashville, USA): The Sea and the Alps: Turner's Quest for the Sublime
271. [N05491] Three Seascapes c. 1827
THE TATE GALLERY, LONDON (5491)
Canvas, 35 3/4 × 23 3/4 (91 × 60·5)
Coll. Turner Bequest 1856 (146, one of ‘2 (one of these contains 2 subjects)’ 3'0" × 2'0"; identified 1946, ? by chalk number on back); transferred to the Tate Gallery 1947.
Exh. R.A. 1974–5 (320).
Lit. Davies 1946, pp. 159–60, 188.
Repr. Art International XIX/2, February 1975, p. 13 in colour.
This canvas is not precisely datable but is fairly close to the Study of Sea and Sky of 1827 (No. 268 [N02001]). It serves to give some idea of how the two rolls of canvas used at Cowes must have looked before they were cut up. Here, however, Turner painted three seascapes, one of them to be seen with the canvas upside down so that two of the compositions share a single sky, and the smaller size of the canvas would have made it much more manageable.
There are considerable losses, now restored, at the bottom of the picture (as seen with two seascapes the right way up).
Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984